William E. Bond Runs for Congress
October 25, 1865

William E. Bond ran for Congress in the fall of 1865 as a "quiet, conscientious, Constitutional Union man." He opposed "negro suffrage on any terms" and hoped to restore North Carolina to the Union "in the shortest possible time." 

To the Voters of the First Congressional District of North Carolina

Fellow Citizens—at the solicitation, mainly of the friends among whom I live and to whom I am best known, I have consented to offer myself as a candidate (at the election to take place on the 9th of next month) to represent this Congressional District in the approaching Congress of the United States.

            The time being too short for a canvass, I deem it right to offer you, in lieu thereof, a very brief exposition of my views and sentiments. I had the honor of being the Union candidate in the County of Chowan in the Conventional election of February 1861. I was then, have ever since been, and still am, a quiet, conscientious, Constitutional Union man; nothing more and nothing less. Constitutional Unionism is the key to all my opinions, as it is the test by which I try all political doctrines and sectional projects. During a portion of the war I had to bear the trials of persecution; but vindictiveness, or a spirit of grievous revenge is, I trust and believe, no part of my nature. I can honestly and truthfully take the VERY STRINGENT OATH prescribed for members of Congress, and can therefore, take the seat; of this fact you need entertain no doubt.

            I am in favor of the restoration of North Carolina to her place and rights within the Federal Union in the shortest possible time, and with the least possible dispute or dissension. I am utterly opposed to negro suffrage on any terms. So far as it has been developed, I am most cordially in favor of the public reconstruction policy of President Johnson and Gov Holden.

            Fellow citizens: I feel that the post I am seeking is one of great importance and heavy responsibilities, and that it involves questions and duties which will be considered an arduous task to the brightest intellect and most experienced statesmanship. It is not in my power to offer great abilities or a great reputation as recommendations to your favorable consideration; of these, if I possessed them, it would be wrong in me to boast; of these, as well as on other points, it should be left with you to judge. But I may, without charge of vanity, assure you that I do possess one element of fitness, and that is a firm determination to fulfil, in good faith, my oath of allegiance recently taken to the Federal and State Governments, and to do all in my power to uphold each in its appropriate sphere. I could not well say less, it is unnecessary to say more.—Here I leave the matter to you. If you conclude to give me a trial it shall be my earnest endeavor to do right, and if possible, not to disappoint your just and reasonable expectations. If elected, I will at all times cooperate with my colleagues, so far as my humble abilities extend, in every attempt to secure the rights, interests and prosperity of North-Carolina as a member of the Federal Union. I am, fellow citizens, yours with great respect.

WILLIAM E. BOND, Of Chowan County

October 25.


The Daily Standard, 28 October 1865.